My most recent post was about the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.
However, that was not the only anniversary on November 9th.
November 9th was the 76th anniversary of Kristallnacht, It recalls a systematic pogrom against Jews in Germany and Austria, when members of the SA and German civilians killed Jews and destroyed their property. It was a tragic night that was a harbinger of far more horrific realities to come.
I knew this when I wrote my post, but I couldn’t figure out how to tie in the event without writing another dissertation (albeit one ladled with swear words), so I chose to omit any reference to it. (Though I did mention it on my Facebook page.)
Angela Merkel did far better than I did.
In her speech, in which she spoke about her life in East Germany, she said that the Fall of the Wall shows that dreams can come true. And yet, in her speech, she still called attention to Kristallnacht. She mentioned that the day marks “the start of the killing of millions,” and wondered how (or if) the day could be a day of joy.
I was so impressed and humbled by that speech. It must have been very difficult to stop, in the middle of the festivities, to remember such a dark day, and the darker days that followed, and to ask thousands of joyous people celebrating the day to remember them as well. And yet, she did. That takes grace and courage.
And it made me realize that my own post was truly incomplete without remembering that day.